Salvation Army spends Friday on mobile water patrol to battle heat

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Another day of dangerous heat is prompting the Salvation Army to make sure those outside don't get dehydrated. Mobile canteens loaded with cold water are rolling out of the charity's warehouse on Truman Road.

The Salvation Army's water patrol is cruising urban core streets this afternoon providing cool water for anyone outside in triple-digit conditions.

More than 400 bottles of ice cold water are onboard the truck. Water will be given away at bus stops and bus transfer stations where the Salvation Army says people waiting outside in the sun for buses to take them home often can use some rehydration.

Volunteers also will visit areas where the homeless are known to gather, providing gallon jugs of water for them as well.

The Salvation Army's disaster services director says it's important for anyone to stay hydrated on a day like today. Water is the preferred drink, but options like Gatorade are acceptable too. Experts advise folks to stay away from soda and alcohol.

"We have volunteers who go out on a homeless outreach program three nights a week and they are more than happy to go out and check on folks during hot temperatures," said Dee Smith, the Salvation Army's disaster services director.

The extreme heat is not expected to break around the metro area until Sunday. Smith says at the bus transfer station downtown, it's not unusual for between 40 to 70 people to crowd around the Salvation Army truck looking for some cold water.

The Salvation Army says it encourages people to save the water bottles and refill them at water fountains or faucets during the rest of their day as a good tool to stay hydrated and keep their bodies cool during this heat wave.

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